The battle lines are drawn. In every boardroom, in every strategic planning meeting, on the minds of every entrepreneur, across every industry, the new holy grail is being sought – the competitive advantage.
It used to be a production advantage (think Six Sigma) or an articulation advantage (think USP) or a systems advantage (think Systems Theory) or a people advantage, which companies sought to give them the edge over their competition.
Innovation has passed these advantages down the value chain from enterprise to solopreneur. The democratisation of advantage previously regarded as the holy grail, necessitates that businesses find a new way.
And that new way is data. Data is the next frontier.
Organisations with a data advantage gain an immediate competitive advantage. And not just an incremental advantage; an exponential one.
Businesses that can most accurately define and target their customer gain advantages in customer acquisition. They’re able to increasingly identify and convert the finite marketplace of consumers into their products; for increasingly lower cost. Those that can’t, suffer exponentially diminishing customer acquisition, at exponentially increasing cost. They’re unlikely to survive.
Businesses with a granular understanding of their customer behaviour can engineer experiences that drive value. The result is customers stay longer, are more engaged, return frequently and pay more for their services. Businesses that don’t, already suffering an acquisition problem, struggle to on-board new customers and align customer expectation to experience. Customers churn quickly, reducing lifetime value and margins.
Whilst data is becoming increasingly available to business, data siloed across disparate platforms is rendered unusable due to accessibility challenges. Unused data is equivalent to no data at all. Businesses that win are those that have the right data at their finger tips at all times. This is why augmented data and metrics using real time dashboards are quickly becoming the new holy grail.
IDC in 2018 forecasted that 40% of all digital transformation will have an AI (Artificial Intelligence) component by 2019. Today, any developer has immediate access to AI and ML (Machine Language) algorithms that can be used to mine valuable insights from enormous amounts of latent datasets held by business today. Companies who use that data proactively are the market leaders.
So, the question around every boardroom should be – ‘how accessible is our data, where is it stored and what are we doing with it’?
How well are you placed for exponential growth?